BILL AND WAYNE'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURES IN THE QUIRKY WORLD OF FILM
Big Wayne and I met recently for another quirky adventure in the world of film. I brought the bacon, egg and Tabasco bagels and he provided the movie. After watching this absolute gem, I’ll never doubt the big man’s recommendations. It's hard believe this movie has been around so long and I missed it. Big Wayne also known as The Hoosier Daddy, is now my own personal Mr. Movie Miyagi. I don’t make a movie move without asking Big Wayne.
I’m talking about the 1957 classic, A Face in the Crowd, directed by Elia Kazan and starring Andy Griffith. While I’ve been a fan of Kazan’s work on East of Eden, On the Waterfront and Viva Zapata, I’d only known Griffith as Barny Fife’s sidekick, Sherriff Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show. Don’t get me wrong, Griffith was very good as the iconic more wholesome than white bread sheriff. I always figured he was pretty much being himself; I had no idea the man could act. From the moment he appeared on screen, Griffith was nothing short of mesmerizing. I’m telling you, I couldn’t take my eyes off of the guy - I couldn’t wait to see what he was going to do next.
Griffith portrays Lonesome Rhodes, a guitar picking drifter who is discovered by a radio hostess (Patricia Neal). America falls in love with Rhodes’ countrified wisdom and guitar picking, propelling him to stardom. Rhodes starts out speaking the truth, fighting the man but due to his addictive personality he becomes the man. I should point out that Griffith’s bluesy singing and guitar playing is very good, edgy – real edgy.
Patrica Neal, Walter Mathaw, Tony Franciosca and Lee Remick make up a supporting cast that is nothing to sneeze at.
Great movie. One of the best I’ve seen. If you haven’t already seen it, watch the darned thing. If you have already seen it, maby you ought to watch it again You won’t be disappointed. Big Wayne knows his movies.